My lab specializes in cellular neurophysiology and optical imaging. In a broad sense, the goal of our work is to contribute to the development of a thorough mechanistic understanding of how excitability is regulated, and information is processed, at the synaptic level in the mammalian CNS. We also attempt to use such information to develop a better understanding of how the brain fails to work in a number of abnormal or diseased states (including mood and anxiety disorders, geriatric memory dysfunction, and drug abuse). We believe that the type of basic mechanistic information that our work seeks to provide will ultimately be essential in order to develop maximally effective therapeutic interventions for such disorders.
At present we have three specific areas of research focus. The first is on centrally acting oxytocin and its role in mental health disorders, the second is on age related changes in cellular and synaptic physiology, with an emphasis on NMDA receptor and/or GABAB receptor mediated signalling in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, and the third is on endocannabinoid mediated signalling and its ability to modulate tonic inhibition in the dentate gyrus.
In addition, we are also very interested in technology development and application in neurobiology. Consistent with that interest, we have recently completed construction of a 2-photon based laser scanning epifluorescence microscope that is well integrated into a system capable of high end conventional cellular neurophysiology. We are currently using this technology to study age related changes in calcium influx into single dendritic spines of CA1 pyramidal cells, and to evaluate the effect of autocrine activation of oxytocin receptors on centrally projecting axons of OTR positive magnocellular neurons.
Finally, we are also invested in software development for use in neurobiology and currently are developing or maintaining separate software programs designed for off-line analysis of electrophysiological data (Ophys), telemetry data (Telem-a-Gator), and line scan data from quantitative two photon imaging experiments (Scan-a-Gator).
We are often looking for highly motivated students and postdocs with a strong technical background and a sincere interest in the work. Please send inquiries about available positions directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.